I was asked to write a blog on homemade baby food, so here we go.
I am no expert at making baby food. If I were to answer to the question "why do you make your own baby food?", I'd have to simply say, "I'm cheap." Yes, I also like the fact that I know what goes into the food, but really... I'm just cheap.
With that in mind, here is what I made today:
4 (4oz) containers of Sweet Potatoes & Apples
3 (6oz) bowls of Sweet Potatoes & Apples
4 (4oz) containers of Banana, Pear and Wheat Germ
2 (4oz) jars of Banana, Pear & Wheat Germ
5 (6oz) bowls of Butternut Squash and Mango
2 (4oz) container of Butternut Squash and Mango
1 (6oz) bowl of white potato & carrots
1 (6oz) container of white potato & carrots
3 (4oz) containers of white potato & carrots
120 oz of homemade baby food (or 30- 4oz jars on average).
Joey typically eats 3 oz for a "meal" right now, so we have approx. 40 meals made for him
I steam everything that can be steamed. My favorite thing to use (since I don't have a fancy baby food steamer/blender like some of you may have) is a rice cooker. Our super cheap rice cooker came with a steaming tray. All I do is peel & chop the food, place it in the steamer, add water to the bowl of the rice cooker and press "cook." when the rice cooker senses that the food is "done" (by some magical power that it has), it shuts off and voila, steamed food! Once the food is steamed, I typically hand mash whatever it is. If I feel like doing extra dishes, I'll get out the Magic Bullet and use it- but typically, I just do it by hand. Once it's mashed, it's ready to go into the containers to cool and then store. I bought a TON of small containers at IKEA a few years ago when we had Mark and they work perfectly. They can be frozen or just used in the fridge. I don't have enough of those, so I tend to use left over "not-so-wholesome" Gerber baby food jars from when we travel, or if I'm just particularly lazy.
So now that you know how I do it, let's get back to why I do it... I'm a cheapskate.
A typical 4oz pre-made baby food jar can cost anywhere between $0.50 - $0.99 each. The one that I typically buy at our local grocery store is $0.58 for the 4oz jar when caught on sale. So assuming that I always find it on sale (which is never the case), I would need to spend approx. $17.40 plus tax for 30 jars of food (or 40-3oz meals for Joey.)
When I bought the fruits and vegetables to make my baby food, here's how much I spent:
1 sweet potato- $0.58 (it was $0.50 per lb.)
1 white potato - $0.45 (it was $0.35 per lb)
1 package of butternut squash -pre-cut from Walmart (I hate chopping butternut squash) - $2.50
3 apples - (from a 5lb bag that cost $2.99) and there are still 6 apples left, so let's assume I used about $0.33 worth of apples
2 pears - $0.51 each, so $1.02
3 carrots - $0.19 each, so $0.57
1 mango - $1.48
1 package of wheat germ (that will last us the rest of our lives): $3.50 (probably used less than $.10 worth)
$7.03 plus tax
Crazy right?!?!? Now, these calculations may not be perfect and I do realize that you have to consider buying containers and your labor cost, but really for that kind of savings, I totally bought in (no pun intended).
And if you are still reading and your head hasn't exploded by my amazing mathematics, I applaud you. Enjoy the savings and feed that baby!